Fall 2017

Let’s Talk About Athleisure, Baby

Here at Trendsetters at the U, we are all about being comfortable and practical, as well as stylish. With the rise in popularity of athletic/lounge clothing on college campuses across the globe, the Trendsetters absolutely geek out about the style of dressing famously known as athleisure.


Athleisure. Finally a word for “wearing clothes meant for working out while doing everything EXCEPT working out”. On a college campuses all over the nation, this is the uniform of us students. While you’ll rarely find me in a gym, I actually do wear work out clothes to dance and rehearse in at least a few times a week. I like to find athleisure pieces that are comfortable and mobile, but also acceptable in a business class or at work.

For this shoot, I wore all of my very favorite athletic clothing. My mauve or “millennial punk” jacket is a more recent find, purchased this September at Victoria’s Secret. I love that it’s lightweight and comfortable. The best part is the little bow detail on the back! It’s practical, because I can tighten the hem if I want, and adds a cute uniqueness to the jacket. I paired it with my favorite sports bra, which is the only thing I own from Lulu Lemon. It’s super high quality and has the cutest wrap effect on the front and fun straps on the back.

On the bottom I chose my grey high waisted Athleta leggings. I’m obsessed with these because they have POCKETS! Real pockets that mimic real pants. I also love the thick stretchy fabric these are made of that keeps everything tight and looking good.  Lastly, I wore my TOMS sneakers. They’re super unathletic actually, actually, but very comfortable for day to day activities. They’re made of canvas and have a little bit of sparkle to them.

So whether you’re going to the gym, class or watching Netflix, I hope you feel inspired to step up yourathleisure game! I find myself wearing more and more “athleisure” (leggings with everything) the closer we get to finals.


Another day another pair of leggings. I am very glad that athleisure is in because I rock it at least three times a week. Sometimes no matter how fashion forward my outfit may be, it is never as comfy as a pair of leggings that suck everything in and a nice soft shirt. I dress often like I am about to attend a funeral with my black on black on black attire, but it is something I do so I never have to think about what I am going to wear. Black is also in my top five favorite colors.

Today I started with my favorite leggings ever! They are the brand Matty M and I’m not even kidding when I say that I get them at Costco and they are $15! They are incredibly thick and have a large waist band. These leggings come in a ton of different colors and I can get 7 pairs of Matty M’s for 1 pair of LuLuLemons and I’d call that a major win.

I really love this long sleeve hoodie. It is pretty thin so if I choose to workout in it at the end of the day, I’m not dying of heat. It is really soft and pretty affordable at T.J. Maxx for just under $10. My vest was thrifted for nine whole dollars at GoodWill. It is one of my best thrifted pieces. I am so proud of this find. For my shoes I often wear my Nike running shoes, but let’s be honest about problems beings the only thing I actually run from.


I don’t really consider myself someone who hasn’t very attractive workout clothes. In my general wardrobe, I will usually choose comfort over style, so this is only exacerbated in my athletic wardrobe. Because of this, I chose to wear an outfit for this shoot that I wouldn’t work out in, but I would wear when I wanted to be leisurely while also feeling put together.

Baseball hats are one of my favorite go-to’s. I love the way they look on me and I just feel like they have a way of pulling a look together. The hat I’m wearing in this shoot is my current favorite. I acquired it when I studied abroad in England from a store called Jack Wills that I completely fell head-over-heels-in-love with when I was over there.

My black shirt is from Target – I think this shirt is just about the perfect T-shirt. I love the way it hangs and I own it in 2 other colors! My pants are from American Eagle. Originally they weren’t skinny pants, but my brother helped me tailor them because I thought the pant legs were a lot more flattering as skinny pant legs.

I really wish I owned a plain or neutral pair of sneakers, but all I currently own are these Nikes, which I affectionately refer to as my “dinosaur shoes”. I was initially worried because I didn’t want to wear any of my not-so-attractive workout wear for this photoshoot, but in the end, I was really pleased with the way this outfit came together!


If you want to have simple style, don’t really want to look fancy day-to-day, but still really want to look nice and cool, rocking athleisure is one of best ways to do it!

When people hear the word “atleisure,” they might think about gymnastic or something else related to  athletics. That’s what I thought the first time I heard about athleisure anyway. However, I was wrong about that. Athleisure style is not just for athletics or for people who love sports. Athleisure style is for everyone, and can be dressed up or down too. 

Athleisure style and activewear are also nice to wear year-round. For summer, you can wear shorts, a sport bra, a jacket layered over the top, and finish it off with sneakers or any others sport shoes. Simple, but a nice look, right ? For cold weather like fall, winter and spring, I suggest you guys get some leggings. I really love leggings because they are so comfortable. You can also definitely wear leggings for both cold and warm weather. Pairing a bomber jacket with a pair of leggings looks super cool, and is also a great way to layer athleisure in colder weather. 

These camo leggings and my crop top are from H&M. H&M is one of my favorite places to shop, and I think it’s a good place for most college students to shop as well. Lastly, I’m finishing my look off with a pair of white, silver and blue Nikes. I would usually wear this kind of active wear during the summer, but you can definitely add layers over the top throughout the colder months.


Forreal I haven’t been this excited for a shoot since I joined Trendsetters back when I was a wee little sophomore!  Anyone who knows me knows that athleisure is basically my life on a daily basis.  As a nutrition major, fitness is a huge part of my lifestyle so I’m always on the go sportin’ athletic clothes on my way between the gym and class! (Check out my nutrition insta @baileysplate for some inspo!)  For most of my gym outfits, I prefer to wear crop tops, they’re the most comfy and don’t get in the way when you’re getting your sweat on. 

This crop top specifically I got from H&M for about five dollars!  I paired it with a simple pair of comfy blue joggers from Target cuz the jogger life is a good life my friends.  Ninety nine percent of the time you can catch me sportin’ a pair of Chuck Taylors or Nikes, so for this outfit I went with a classic black pair of Converse to match the crop top.  

A lot of times, to add a little something extra, I like to throw on a matching cap – it may or may not also be due to the fact my hair can sometimes be a mess lol.  I also added a flannel to tie in with the joggers (no pun intended). Flannels are my fav cuz they’re super cute and are also a great way to add another layer in case it get chilly!  Overall, this outfit has me ready for my day whether that includes a shoulder workout or an Anatomy lecture – and I still feel cute while doin’ it!

Photography by Jazzer-Rae Engel | @skeletonxsmiles

Fall 2017

Five Ways to De-Stress for Finals Week


Dina in the library, a book in front of her face hiding it

Dina looking at a book in the library.

By : Dina Merani

Malcolm X once said, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

To have our bright future, we should study hard and do our best so we can get the best degree at the end of our time in college. We have tests to study for, essays to write, in class quizzes to study for and much more.  Those things will stress us out. Most college students will face this situation. We might feel so happy to start the first weeks of school and we feel so excited to come back to school, but day by day it gets harder and we lose that excitement.

Some students might struggle, and get homesick. Those feelings will make it hard to focus on our classes, and by the end when the final comes, most of us might get super stressed and it’s hard to get anything done. I sometimes get the same feeling. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t want to continue my schooling because of these all all assignments, but I always find the way to reduce all my stress in college. As we all know, Finals Week is around the corner and most of us will study really hard. We might get nervous to face this week. I would like share five different ways that I usually use to reduce my stress. I hope that these ways can help you guys to face this week.

1. Don’t study too much           

Dina at a table in the library, studying

If you pressure yourself to spend most of your time to study, you will get stressed out. You will get stressed about which test you are going to study for and if you will have time to study all the materials in one day. Make a schedule for what are you going to study and when for Finals Week. Just study as much as you need for each final, and make sure that you have study guide to study, because then you won’t waste time studying things you don’t need.

2. Listening to Music

Dina's phone with headphones on her laptop. A candle and two fall leaves as well.

Listening to music might bring you joy and happiness, it does for me. It’s just like you throw all your stress away from your mind by enjoying the beat and the lyrics. Choose music that you love and find a quiet place for you to enjoy the songs. I suggest you to choose a slow tempo music. This kind of music always help me to reduce my sadness and stress and I hope it will work for you guys.

3. Hangout with friends

Dina and friends grabbing a meal at a restaurant

Friends are also important. Find your closest friends and hangout with them during this week. Ask them to have dinner together or have brunch over the weekend. You will find so much happiness when you get together with them. It also will take away your stress for your final. Don’t be afraid to ask your roommate or your classmate to hangout.

4. Workout

Dina in workout gear against some lockers at the gym.

Workout is not only to build muscle, but also doing workout will help reduce your stress. I have tried this several times and it really works for me. The University has gym facilities that you can enter with your GrizCard, so take this opportunity and go there to do some exercises. You can try walking, yoga or if you love dance, you can hit it up with your best moves. You can go by yourself, or go with friends!

Dina opening a locker and showing off the words on her crop top, it reads "Girls Unite"


5. Sleep/ Nap

Dina's legs cozied up with a blanket and fuzzy socks

The less sleep you get, the more stress you will have. So, I just want to make sure that you have enough sleep at night. Do not stay up late when you have a final tomorrow. Sleeping well at night will really help you to have fresh mind and be ready for the day. Also, if you cannot get really good sleep at night, you can take a nap after class or during the weekend. Even just 30 minutes will really help to rest your brain. One more thing, if you cannot get sleep at night, it could mean that you need to fill your stomach because you are hungry. When you are hungry at night, don’t be afraid to eat, because when you don’t eat, you cannot get enough sleep, at least that’s what happens to me!


Alright, I think that is all that I can share with you guys to de-stress for Finals week.

Hopefully it will help you guys .


Happy studying and good luck to you all!


Dina Merani

Photography by Aleksandra Wąs | @fotografed_